One America, or "Una America" is what one protestor told me was the solution to all our immigration problems at today’s immigration rally.
When asked to explain he said that the entire American continent should have an open door policy — from Argentina all the way up. "There’s only one America," he shouted. He also offered to let us come to Mexico.
Every person I approached to ask why they had come to the rally was unable to answer me well in English. When they found out I spoke Spanish, they told me they were there to send Congress a message (did anyone tell them that Congress left on a two-week recess last Friday?).
They came with friends; they brought their children. From a distance the event appeared fairly organized. Representatives of the National Capital Immigration Coalition, sponsors of the event, made sure to have plenty of American flags and blue signs that said, "We are America," to pass out to the masses.
One of NCIC’s spokesman told me, "We are well organized and we aren’t going to leave," and "If you don’t [let us in] we’re going to move you out."
Up close, it became apparent that not everyone was on the same page.
While many chanted, "We are not criminals," others carried signs that said, "Open the door, or rompa (break) the window," which, at least to me, sent a mixed message.
They came from Guatemala, Argentina, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico and elsewhere. There may have been countries outside the continent represented, but I didn’t come across any.
One came from Massachusetts — Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.
Kennedy (D.-Mass.) pulled out all the stops as he addressed the crowd from the stage. He nearly screamed himself hoarse as he catered to their chants and applause. He gave a plug for his immigration bill, co-sponsored with Sen. John McCain (who, by the way, was no where to be seen…)
There’s much more to say, but I’ll end for now sharing perhaps my favorite sign of the rally: "Y si me deportan, quien construir??¡ el muro?" Which is to say in Spanish: "And if you deport me, who will build the wall?"